Frequently Asked Questions about Hebrew SeniorLife

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions and answers about Hebrew SeniorLife’s health care and senior living services.

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General Questions

We welcome people from every type of background, faith, or religion. Our health care services and senior living communities are open to all.

Our spiritual care programs serve people of all traditions and backgrounds; learn more here.

Communal opportunities for religious life vary among our locations based on the needs of each community. We continually strive to connect each resident, patient, and family member with the spiritual resources that resonate the most with them. Learn more about our approach to spiritual care.

Yes. We have an extensive emergency operations plan which addresses natural, mechanical, technical, and man-made disasters. Our staff receives regular emergency management training, and patients and residents have 24/7 access to staff for emergencies.

Hebrew SeniorLife is also a member of the Boston Healthcare Preparedness Coalition, a collaboration of public health and health care partners in the Boston region who coordinate, plan for, and conduct unified response to and recovery from emergencies. Our Director of Security and Emergency Management serves on the coalition’s executive committee.

Health Care

Questions about health care services and patient care.

Health Care Options

Hebrew Rehabilitation Center is licensed as a long-term chronic care hospital, which means we offer clinical services beyond those typically offered by skilled nursing facilities. It combines comprehensive therapeutic programs and clinical services for seniors with chronic and sometimes complex diagnoses, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. In-house staff includes medical directors, physicians, social workers, and rehabilitation professionals, as well as nurses. 

For more details, read our blog post, “What is a Long-Term Chronic Care Hospital.”

Inpatient post-acute care at Hebrew SeniorLife refers to rehabilitative care that is sometimes necessary after a hospitalization, surgery, or illness, when a patient is recovered enough to leave an acute care hospital, but not yet ready to return to their living situation. Post-acute care can also be helpful when intensive physical, occupational, speech, and other therapies are needed to regain mobility and function.

We offer post-acute care at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston and Dedham. 

Hebrew SeniorLife offers in-home care to address a variety of needs, including medical and non-medical care.

  • Home Health: Following an acute episode, which may or may not include a hospitalization, your doctor can prescribe a temporary period of skilled care by visiting nurses who come to your home. You need to be homebound to qualify for this benefit under Medicare or other insurance. Learn more about home health.
  • Rehab Therapy at Home: As your recovery progresses and you are no longer homebound, you can continue to receive physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology in your home through our “Therapy House Calls” service. You don’t need to use home health first to be eligible for rehab therapy at home. Learn more about “Therapy House Calls.”
  • Private Care: This is non-medical home care that can be engaged for an unlimited period of time. An aide comes to your home at scheduled times to help with things like dressing, housekeeping, meal preparation, and medication assistance. No referral is required. This can sometimes be covered by long-term-care insurance. Learn more about private care.

Hospice care focuses on maximizing the quality of life for people (and their caregivers) who are experiencing an advanced, life-limiting illness. Generally, patients qualify for the hospice benefit through Medicare when they are expected to live for 6 months or less. Patients may be discharged from hospice care if their terminal condition improves, if they wish to return to curative treatment, or if they elect to resume daily life without any medical intervention. Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hospice Care is provided in a patient's home with a care team that supports the family.

Geriatricians are physicians that specialize in health conditions that commonly affect older adults, such as osteoporosis, falls, and memory loss. In addition to being board-certified and completing a residency in internal medicine or family medicine, geriatricians also complete a separate geriatrics fellowship (one to two years of additional training). Though geriatricians care for the gamut of seniors from the healthiest to the frailest, they are particularly skilled at handling complex multisystem conditions that are common in older patients.

At Hebrew SeniorLife, geriatricians work as part of integrated care teams with other clinicians and specialists who are also experts in the care of older adults. Many of our geriatricians are also Harvard Medical School faculty and participate in research and education projects to advance the field of senior care.

Hebrew Rehabilitation Center

We provide the following rehabilitation services: 

  • Physical therapy 
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Expressive therapy 

All patients receive an assessment to determine which services may be helpful as part of their care plan.

Nursing staff is on-site at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center at all times, and other specialists are on call should the need arise. Routine checks are individualized according to the needs of the patient. Hebrew Rehabilitation Center does not use restraints, bed alarms, or chair alarms.

Each floor has patients with varying cognitive and physical abilities. Along with extensive programming on each floor, we offer center-wide social activities for patients of all abilities. This provides opportunities for interaction with patients from other floors who may have common interests. We constantly assess a patient’s needs and interests, and encourage them to participate in appropriate activities. It is the patient’s choice to attend.

Memory support units at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center are secured. Hebrew SeniorLife also offers secure memory care assisted living residences at NewBridge on the Charles.

Patient rooms at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center come completely furnished, but seniors are encouraged to bring personal items to make their space feel like home. 

All medications must be approved by a Hebrew SeniorLife provider and pharmacist.

Hebrew Rehabilitation Center offers translation services for all languages 24/7 through in-house, on-call, and telephone interpreter services. Most written materials are available in both Russian and Spanish. 

Learn more about our Russian Bilingual Program.

Families of Hebrew Rehabilitation Center patients are encouraged to accompany loved ones to specialists. If families are unable to attend, and if it is a medically necessary appointment, we will provide an accompanying staff member. Hebrew SeniorLife does not escort senior living residents to doctor’s appointments. 

Family members are a crucial part of the care team. We strive to meet every individual need, but you as a family member know your loved one best. That’s why we encourage you to partner with the care team to share your input about your loved one’s likes and desires, or any observed changes.

We hope you will visit, take your loved one to the café, spend time outdoors, attend activities, or participate in religious services. You might also enjoy getting to know your loved one’s friends - invite them to visit with you, start a Scrabble game, or have a conversation about current events. You’re part of the community, and we want you to feel at home here.

You can expect to be contacted for the following: 

  • Change in medical/mental status
  • Significant medication change
  • Semi-annual care coordination meetings
  • Quarterly check-ins from floor team leadership
  • Outbreak of illness and temporary floor closures
  • Invitation to events
  • Significant organizational changes/updates

We also send families a quarterly email newsletter to keep you updated on news and events, and provide tips for you in your role as caregiver.

The Health Care Proxy Agent will be the point of contact. If the Health Care Proxy or patient request involvement of another family member, this needs to be communicated to the health care team. Any medical decision would still be the responsibility of the Health Care Proxy.

Visitation policies can change based on COVID-19 activity in Massachusetts and restrictions may be put in place from time to time for infection control purposes. Family members are kept up to date with regular communications. Our goal is always to support as much in-person visitation as is safely possible. Per MA Department of Public Health regulations, our skilled nursing Rehabilitative Services Unit is open for visitation. Read more about our visitation policy.

Patients may leave for up to 6 hours per day. Medical approval by a provider and 48 hours of notice to the nursing team are required.

Yes. Patients can receive mail, packages, flower deliveries, etc. It should be addressed with their name. Contact the front desk for specific instructions. Latex balloons are not allowed.

Senior Living Communities

Senior Living Options

Also known as "life plan communities," continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) provide a continuum of care, often including independent living, assisted living, and nursing care, all in one location. A CCRC or life plan community is appealing because it offers a full range of residences, services, and health care options as seniors’ needs change over time. 

While the cost of living in this type of community can be higher than in other types of senior living options, residents have a lifelong assurance of knowing that increased assistance and health care services are available if needed. In general, this type of community requires both an entrance fee and a monthly fee. Hebrew SeniorLife offers two CCRCs: NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham and Orchard Cove in Canton.

Assisted living is a social model of care that provides a greater level of support than in-home care, day programs, or independent living. Assisted living residences, which are sometimes part of CCRCs, can also provide specialized programs for people living with dementia. 

Assisted living residences typically provide meals, housekeeping, programming, a predetermined number of hours of assistance with daily activities, nursing support and assessment, and 24-hour staffing from certified nursing assistants. Assisted living is most often a private pay, rental model. 

Hebrew SeniorLife offers assisted living and memory care assisted living at NewBridge on the Charles. We also offer a similarly supportive care level, called enhanced living, at Orchard Cove.

Learn more about assisted living in our blog post, “Assisted Living vs. Independent Living: How Do You Know Which Is Best for Your Aging Parent.”

Independent living communities are for seniors looking for an active lifestyle without the hassles of home maintenance. Many include services to make life easier, but no personal care is provided. Independent living communities may be designed as multiple buildings spread out on large campuses, with a central gathering area for programming and some meals.

Hebrew SeniorLife offers five independent living communities for seniors in the Boston area, for a variety of lifestyles and budgets: Orchard Cove in Canton, NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham, Center Communities of Brookline, Simon C. Fireman Community in Randolph, and Jack Satter House in Revere. 

You can learn more about the differences between these two options in our blog post, “Assisted Living vs. Independent Living: How Do You Know Which Is Best for Your Aging Parent.”

Admissions, Affordability & Moving-in

The minimum age for most Hebrew SeniorLife senior living communities is 62, with lower age thresholds for assisted living, memory care assisted living, and our subsidized apartments for younger disabled individuals. Spouses may be younger than 62. There is no minimum age for our inpatient and outpatient health care services. Please contact each community directly to learn specific guidelines.

Unlike many senior living communities, NewBridge on the Charles and Orchard Cove welcome couples with differing care needs. We provide personalized support that allows relationships to thrive regardless of one partner’s chronic physical or cognitive issues. This is part of our commitment to helping you live your best life.

Hebrew SeniorLife offers senior living options for every budget. We invite you to contact communities directly to learn more about pricing models. NewBridge on the Charles and Orchard Cove, our continuing care retirement communities, are exclusively private pay. Center Communities of Brookline offers both private pay and subsidized senior living options, and Simon C. Fireman Community and Jack Satter House offer only subsidized living. Please contact individual communities to learn more. We are happy to provide confidential consultations based on your unique situation.

We offer subsidized residences at Center Communities of Brookline, Simon C. Fireman Community in Randolph, and Jack Satter House in Revere.

The continuing care retirement communities of Hebrew SeniorLife, NewBridge on the Charles and Orchard Cove, offer many convenient services including dining, local transportation, and housekeeping as part of a monthly fee paid by residents. 

In our supportive senior living communities —  Center Communities of Brookline, Simon C. Fireman Community, and Jack Satter House — these additional services are not included in the monthly rent, but may in some cases be added for an additional fee. Health care services are paid for separately. 

Occupancy rates vary by location and change over time. Please contact individual communities to learn more about availability.

At the continuing care retirement communities of Hebrew SeniorLife, NewBridge on the Charles and Orchard Cove, the wait list is typically 6 to 12 months, although that can vary significantly if a specific unit style is desired. Our supportive senior living communities may have longer wait lists. Please contact individual communities to learn more about current wait list times.

Pets are allowed in most Hebrew SeniorLife communities, with rules varying by location. Please contact individual communities to learn the specific restrictions.

NewBridge on the Charles and Orchard Cove, our continuing care retirement communities, offer complimentary transportation within 5 miles for doctor's appointments, with farther trips available for a fee. Hebrew SeniorLife's other senior living communities do not offer personal transportation for appointments.

Yes. Mail is put in each resident’s mailbox. Newspapers are delivered to the residents’ doors. Packages will be held at the concierge desk.